Becoming licensed as an applied behavioral analysis (ABA) therapist requires meeting a state’s educational requirements for licensure and passing a state-licensing exam. Candidates in most states must hold a Ph.D. in psychology or an Ed.D. in special education and document their completion of an internship and practical work experience.
Some ABA therapists earn professional certification. The Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) designation is offered to therapists who hold at least a master's degree in approved majors and pass a certification exam. Approved majors include behavior analysis or other natural sciences, education, human services, engineering, medicine or fields related to behavior analysis. Many ABA therapists work in schools or counseling centers with autistic children and other developmentally disabled patients.